Janet Napolitano Gives The Wrong Answer

I really didn’t want to write about security and the Delta Detroit incident but then Janet Napolitano, secretary of Homeland Security, appeared on Sunday morning TV. She delivered one of the most stupefyingly insipid comments I’ve ever heard–an insult to America.

This week’s suicidal crazy used the same chemical, PETN, shoe bomber Richard Reid used!. That led David Gregory on Meet The Press to ask if this was a security failure. Napolitano answered:

SEC’Y JANET NAPOLITANO: Well, I think we don’t know enough to say one way or the other in that respect. The forensics are still being done, the investigation is still underway. I think the important point here is that once the incident occurred, everybody reacted the way they should; the passengers did, the flight crew did. And literally, within an hour, additional measures had been instituted not only on the ground here in the United States, but abroad and, indeed, on the 128 flights that were already in the air from Europe.

No! The correct answer is, “Yes, this was a failure. We shouldn’t be letting known threats carrying explosives on airplanes. I am very upset. This will be fixed immediately.”

We got none of my answer.

We are trying to protect targets when it seems more manageable to find threats.

6 Responses to “Janet Napolitano Gives The Wrong Answer”

  1. Lou says:

    I have said this many times, Geoff. Both DHS and TSA are misconceived, bloated bureaucracies that need to be completely redone. DHS makes it difficult to keep our nation secure, and TSA is nothing more than a inconvenient joke.

  2. laufbad says:

    “Napolitano concedes airline security system failed”


  3. Sean says:

    This incident is probably not so shocking- maybe even pedestrian, to those (including DHS officials) who know about the incidents that the press & public does NOT know about. I don’t pretend to know those things, but I’d imagine there have been some (potentially) unbelievably horrific incidents thwarted over the last eight years that we may never know about which pale this incident in comparison.

    A nonchalant reaction from DHS? For sure.

  4. Geoff Fox says:

    Sean – It seems very unlikely another episode went this far without our knowing. After all, this happened in full view of a plane full of people.

    Laufbad – Maybe she read this blog? Nah.

  5. Tom says:


    I would agree with Sean on this one. While this incident did happen in front of a plane full of people and could not be hidden from the public, how are we to know that a WMD type of plan or something like that was not thwarted? Would we ever know if a cyber attack to take down the power grid or attack bank and Wall Street computers was stopped at the last second? I don’t think so.

  6. Geoff Fox says:

    My point is the security we all see at the airport is a waste–and this incident is a perfect example.

    In July I don’t run through my snow checklist. The security equivalent would be not to spend any time on the elderly or families with children traveling on roundtrip tickets.

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